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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

In times of social distancing, Tripura man designs bike with seats 1-metre apart

Partha initially made it keeping in mind the precautions he would have to take while carrying his 9-year-old daughter to school after the lockdown was lifted.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
April 26, 2020 8:21:39 pm
Partha Saha of Aralia village with Covid-19 bike. In keeping with guidelines issued by the WHO, the electric bike has a one-metre distance between each seat. (Express photo)

At a time when social distancing has emerged as the watchword for fighting the coronavirus pandemic, a YouTuber from Tripura has made a unique electric motorcycle to create awareness among people. In keeping with guidelines issued by the WHO, the electric bike has a one-metre distance between each seat.

The bike is the brainchild of Partha Saha of Aralia village near Agartala. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Saha said neither he wishes to popularise the vehicle as a commercial product nor would he seek permission from the transport department.

“Watching everyone talk about social distancing, how important it is and how many people aren’t following it made me think if I could attract their attention and send a message that social distancing is indeed serious,” Saha said.

Explaining how he came about making the motorcycle, which he has named “Covid-19 bike”, the 39-year-old said, “I modified a petrol-run regular motorcycle into a much larger frame, used bicycle seats to make front and rear seats at a distance of 1-meter away from each other, disposed the petrol engine, used a 750-Watt DC motor, attached a 48-volt battery and my electric motorcycle was ready.”

Partha and his daughter takes a ride on his COVID-19 bike near his house at Aralia in Agartala. (Express photo)

Saha started off as a mechanic over a decade back and went on to become a technical instructor at an institute for some time before he became a full-time YouTuber in 2018. The motorcycle takes upto 3 hours to fully charge and runs 80 km on a single charge.

Partha initially made it keeping in mind the precautions he would have to take while carrying his 9-year-old daughter to school after the lockdown was lifted. But he later dropped the idea since official permissions would have been cumbersome.

The 39-year-old runs a YouTube channel named ‘Technical Partha’, which has over 3 lakh subscribers and millions of viewership on all videos. Partha claimed he earns Rs 50,000 a month from his YouTube contents but said he wouldn’t post his Covid-19 bike on his channel.

The motorcycle takes upto 3 hours to fully charge and runs 80 km on a single charge. (Express photo)

“I took it out for a spin the other day and someone apparently made a video and posted on social media. I am still getting messages every day. It has attracted people’s attention. I hope they actually follow social distancing this time,” Partha said.

Tripura Principal Secretary (Transport) Laihlia Darlong said a vehicle not tested for safety and security standards couldn’t be allowed on the streets.

“There are many agencies appointed by the government that certify whether a vehicle is suited for transport or not. Also, no vehicle once purchased and registered on vahan database can be modified without permission. So, I am afraid it can’t run on the roads for now,” he said.

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